HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Vir Sanghvi

The middle class leaves BJP behind

I am continually surprised by how normal middle class people, who are not especially politically aware, seem to be so relieved because of the Congress victory. Not only are there no tears for the BJP but fewer middle class people seem to identify with it any longer. Vir Sanghvi writes.

Phantom of the pop era

Unlike other great black performers, Jackson fused theatre with music. Nobody else had ever used so many props or hired magicians to invent stage illusions on that scale. Without Jackson’s concerts, we would have never had a Madonna or her dancing style of performing, nor would we have had today’s concerts where most performers recognise that theatre is as important as rock, writes Vir Sanghvi.

Keep the law outside the bedroom

The real problem with Section 377 is not that it doesn’t work, or that it is misused or that it ignores centuries of same-sex love. The problem is that it extends the scope of the law beyond what is necessary or legitimate in a liberal society. Allow the police to decide what two homosexuals can do in their bedroom and you have no logically consistent reason for refusing to let them decide what two heterosexuals can get up to, writes Vir Sanghvi.

Grounded by air traffic control freaks

Privatisation has actually worked to the disadvantage of airlines. Because the new owners of metro airports have not been able to make the kind of money they had expected, the government has allowed them to increase the amount they charge airlines, writes Vir Sanghvi.

Mastering the language of strength

Do you hear a single Pakistani diplomat complaining about how England and America have no right to be in Afghanistan because it is part of Pakistan’s sphere of influence? Why is it that Pakistan has one set of standards for the West and another for India? Vir Sanghvi examines...

Bhaisaabs, fight your battles elsewhere

When a corporate war begins to emerge as the biggest news story in a country that faces so many problems, then you know that something has gone badly wrong, writes Vir Sanghvi.

A torturous debate over rights

The argument against torture is one of human rights. Can we bend our conception of human dignity to accommodate the demands of wartime and the fight against terror? Vir Sanghvi examines...

Encounters have our sanction too

Conduct a poll and ask people whether policemen should try and build cases against terrorists, should persuade witnesses to testify and then wait six years for the judgement or whether they should just bump them off and a majority of Indians will prefer execution to prosecution, writes Vir Sanghvi.

Bombay to Mumbai, or else...

Now that the Bombay/ Mumbai controversy has returned to the headlines, thanks to the Maharashtra elections, this may be a good time to examine the whole issue of the naming and renaming of places, writes Vir Sanghvi.

Doing us an ex-presidential favour

The next time somebody tells us that we need to keep the US in good humour because American goodwill will get us a seat at the Security Council, be very sceptical, writes Vir Sanghvi.

And if he wasn’t well-connected?

When it comes to its children, the political class is united. It’s them first. And it is the rest of us afterwards. But I don’t think that any of us will let it be. We recognise what the politicians are up to. They think that if they hold firm, the issue will die down and all of us will find other things to worry about. After all, they managed to get Manu Sharma out of Tihar jail without anyone noticing, writes Vir Sanghvi.

December 6, Ayodhya for dummies

Ayodhya was a symbol of two things: a growing anger among Hindus who felt that Muslims were being pampered by the state and Advani’s vaulting ambition. When the BJP came to power, both factors vanished. Hindus could no longer claim that Muslims were being favoured. And Advani got the power he so desperately craved. Vir Sanghvi examines...

Who killed Kamte?

His colleagues on the Bombay Police Force, according to the searing indictment by the widow of the brave officer killed on 26/11, writes Vir Sanghvi.

Did America keep mum on 26/11?

David Headley was formally charged, allowed to appoint a lawyer and is now entitled to all the protections of the US Constitution: he would be within his rights to tell Indian investigators to take a flying jump. Why would the US treat a 26/11 suspect with such consideration? Vir Sanghvi examines...
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